Taipei (Day 27): Happy Easter!

March 27, 2016

Happy Easter from Taipei!

This morning felt a bit weird/sad without hearing Nate waking up and calling our names. After an emotional night (for me), we woke up and got ready to go to Easter Mass at Holy Family Catholic Church. There is only one English Mass at 9:45am so we had to make sure we didn’t miss it! We power walked from the apartment and through Daan Park and got to church right on time.

The Mass was lead by Monseigneur Paul Russell, an American who has been in Taipei for the past 8 years working as a diplomatic representative for the Vatican. According to the announcements at church he has been very influential in trying to connect Catholicism to the Taiwanese population (Taiwanese Catholics only make up 1.5% of the population and Christianity as a whole is only 4.5%). It was announced last week that he was appointed by Pope Francis to become the Archbishop and nuncio (permanent diplomatic representative of the Holy See) in Turkey. The way members of the congregation spoke about him, showed he has made a significant impact on the church in Taipei and he will be greatly missed. We didn’t even know him and Tim got a bit teary eyed during his goodbye speech at the end (Tim: I get moved thinking about a person with no past ties to Taiwan, who can serve the people of Taiwan for 8 years of his life, and express a deep love for a country that I’m only tangentially able to connect with, even though I’m “Taiwanese”).

Waiting to go into the church
Waiting to go into the church
Inside Holy Family Church
Inside Holy Family Church after Mass ended

Our only plan for today was to meet with Austin (Tim’s cousin, in town for a wedding) for a late lunch. We finished Mass at 11am so we decided to take a walk to the Gongguan area, an area close to National Taiwan University (NTU). We planned on going to Gongguan earlier in the week with my sister but the gua bao (Taiwanese “pork burger”) place we wanted to try was closed on Mondays so we didn’t end up going.

Tim’s cousin, Karen, recommended two places in the area to try, the gua bao (Lan Jia Steamed Sandwich Shop) and a fresh milk with pearls (no tea) stand. It was easy to track the places down since they were across from each other and both had line ups. I stood in the pearl milk line while Tim went to the gua bao line. We took our drink and baos across the street to NTU and sat on the bench and ate.

thumb_IMG_4704_1024
Cute signage around Gongguan
Pearl Milk stand. 35 NT = $1.40 CAD
Pearl Milk stand. 35 NT = $1.40 CAD
You can ask for regular pork, fatty pork or half half. I got half half and Tim got fatty pork belly
Lan Jia Steamed Sandwich Shop: You can ask for regular pork, fatty pork or half half. I got half half and Tim got fatty pork belly. (50 NT = $2 CAD)
Line ups for both pearl milk and gua bao places
Line ups for both pearl milk and gua bao places
Forgot to take a picture before we drank half the pearl milk.
Forgot to take a picture before we drank half the pearl milk. The pearls in this are cooked in brown sugar so it sweetens the milk. They’re the best pearls we’ve both ever had (Tim: I never said that, I just said they were good), they’re warm, soft and still chewy.
Gua bao - delicious!
Gua bao was delicious! It has pork belly, cilantro, peanut & sugar dusting, and pickled vegetables on a steamed bun
Entrance to NTU
Entrance to NTU

After we walked around for a bit, we took the MRT to meet Austin at Zhongxiao Xinsheng station to go for beef noodles at a restaurant called 72 Beef Noodle (this was another Karen recommendation). The restaurant is called “72 Beef Noodle” because that’s how many hours it takes for them to make the soup.

Outside of 72
Outside of 72 Beef Noodle
This was their special appetizer dish (small size). It was a stir fry type of dish with tofu, peanuts, chives, egg, and fatty pork. (120 NT = $4.90 CAD)
This was their special appetizer dish (small size). It was a stir fry type of dish with tofu, peanuts, chives, egg, and fatty pork. (120 NT = $4.90 CAD). This was very flavourful and tasty – my favourite dish here.
Soft tofu with century egg with thick soy, cilantro and benito flakes (120 NT = $4.90 CAD)
Soft tofu with century egg with thick soy, green onions and benito flakes (120 NT = $4.90 CAD)
Tim's beef noodle (160 NT = $6.50 CAD). He says this is favourite broth so far.
Tim’s beef noodle (160 NT = $6.50 CAD). He says this is favourite broth so far, but the meat wasn’t as tender as Yong Kang
72 is known for this herbal "clear" base. I preferred Tim's soup instead. (160 NT = $6.50 CAD)
72 is known for this “clear” soup broth. I preferred Tim’s soup. (160 NT = $6.50 CAD)
Us with Austin at "72"
Us with Austin at “72 Beef Noodle” (I think there’s a spotlight right over Austin’s head)

After lunch, we were feeling pretty tired. We made our way back to the apartment and rested. For dinner we wanted to go somewhere casual and close by. We decided to just walk back to Tonghua St. and see if anything looked interesting. Nothing caught our attention so we decided to go back to Formosa Chang’s to have something small.

Our walk towards Tonghua. Taipei 101 is lit up nicely
Our walk towards Tonghua. Taipei 101 is lit up nicely
Our dinner at Formosa Chang's . (240 NT = $9.80 CAD)
Our dinner at Formosa Chang’s . (240 NT = $9.80 CAD)

We walked back to the apartment through the night market and picked up some fruit on the way back from the quick fruit lady who Noel kept buying fruit from last week. We got one guava and an apple pear (one of my favourite fruits) for 75 NT = $3 CAD.

We’re back at the apartment now and going to start planning for our Japan leg of the trip. We’re planning on watching Batman vs. Superman tomorrow (or Tuesday) and then we’ll have dinner with Tim’s relatives. My family at home is having a big Easter dinner on Sunday (tomorrow morning for me), I’m sad I’ll be missing out on dinner. I always look forward to our big family gatherings and being surrounded by all my loved ones on Easter.

Today’s steps are: 15,000

4 thoughts on “Taipei (Day 27): Happy Easter!”

  1. Hi Kaity,

    It was really wonderful to FaceTime with you and Tim this evening. Although we missed both of you at dinner, we are so happy that you’re blogging regularly; we love hearing about your adventures and experiences. We really enjoyed the pineapple cakes and nougat candy that you sent home with Kimbo and Noel. Eating these treats reminded us of the amazing food and baked goods in Taiwan. Enjoy and continue to savour all the deliciousness. (Loving the photos). We miss you but we are also in awe of what you’ve seen and done in the past 28 days. Continue to live it, love it and enjoy your travels. Know that we are all in your heart; smile with your mouth and your eyes😍 And have the time of your lives!!!

  2. Beautifully written Elmo! I echo her words to you Kaity and Tim. We all miss you but are with you in spirit as you take us along on your journey. Happy Easter, and much love to you both!
    Auntie Ta
    XO

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *